Sporting Kansas City vs. LA Galaxy
2023 MLS Regular Season | Match 3
Saturday, March 11 | 7:30 p.m. CT (7:39 kickoff)
Children's Mercy Park | Kansas City, Kan.
Apple TV | MLS Season Pass
English Radio | 810 AM or 94.5 FM/1510 AM
Spanish Radio | La Grande 1340 AM
Sporting Kansas City will host the LA Galaxy at 7:30 p.m. CT on Saturday at Children's Mercy Park in the club's highly anticipated home opener. Tickets are available online at SeatGeek.com - including the release of standing-room only tickets - and the first 10,000 fans in attendance will receive SKC foam wallets courtesy of match sponsor Central Bank, who will also be giving away schedule magnets after the match while supplies last.
The Western Conference clash will kick off at 7:39 p.m. CT and will stream live on Apple TV for MLS Season Pass subscribers in both English and Spanish with pre-match programming starting at 7:10 p.m. CT. The MLS Season Pass subscription -- currently available at no cost for all T-Mobile customers - will feature every MLS match in 2023 and fans can watch on billions of devices through the Apple TV app on Apple devices, smart TVs, streaming devices, set-top boxes and game consoles as well as on the web at tv.apple.com.
In addition, radio coverage will also air locally in English on Sports Radio 810 WHB or ESPN 94.5 FM/1510 AM, and in Spanish on La Grande 1340 AM with streams available in the Sporting KC app.
Both charter members of Major League Soccer, Sporting Kansas City and the LA Galaxy are the two winningest teams in the Western Conference all-time. LA has the most regular season wins in MLS history with 377 - as well as the most MLS Cup championships (5) and Supporters' Shield trophies (4) - while Sporting has recorded 350 all-time regular season victories to go along with two MLS Cup triumphs and a Supporters' Shield title.
The regular season series between the two clubs is deadlocked after 68 all-time head-to-head match-ups dating back to the inaugural clash in May 1996. Both teams have 26 wins to go along with 16 draws however Sporting is unbeaten in the last four meetings including a 4-2 win at Children’s Mercy Park in 2022.
Willy Agada scored his first two MLS goals in the victory and the 23-year-old went on to win Sporting’s Golden Boot with eight goals and two assists in 12 MLS appearances after joining the club last summer. The result also began a run of six straight home wins to conclude the campaign, equaling the club record at Children's Mercy Park. SKC can now match the club's all-time record of seven consecutive regular season home victories - a mark set in 1998 and 2000 at Arrowhead Stadium - with a win over the Galaxy.
Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper John Pulskamp enters Saturday's match with a 174-minute shutout streak after making four saves and recording a shutout in a scoreless draw on the road at the Colorado Rapids last weekend. The 21-year-old is the youngest player in MLS to keep a clean sheet this season and the former Galaxy Academy member is 2-0-1 all-time against LA, most recently saving Chicharito’s 97th-minute penalty in a 2-2 draw last September.
The Galaxy will be without Chicharito, who scored twice against SKC in both meetings a year ago, due to a hamstring injury and fellow World Cup veteran Douglas Costa is also sidelined with a calf injury. LA added five players in the offseason, including former SKC midfielder Uri Rosell, and three made their club debuts in a 3-1 loss at FC Dallas last Saturday with Tyler Boyd, Memo Rodriguez and Chris Mavinga all earning minutes. The most recent addition is 21-year-old Brazilian right back Lucas Calegari, who was acquired following Julian Araujo's transfer to Barcelona last month.
LA Galaxy head coach Greg Vanney - who ranks 10th in MLS history with 114 regular season wins but is winless in nine matches against Sporting (0-5-4) - has a roster headlined by 23-year-old former FC Barcelona midfielder Riqui Puig and 20-year-old Mexico Men's National Team midfielder Efrain Alvarez. Up top, 23-year-old Serbian striker Dejan Joveljic was second on the team in scoring in 2022 with 11 goals and picked up right where he left off in 2023 with a goal in the club's season opener last week after their Matchday 1 contest with rivals LAFC on Feb. 25 was postponed due to winter weather.
Joveljic has scored in three straight road games dating back to last season - when the Galaxy ended the regular season with a 5-1-4 record and 26 goals scored in their final 10 matches - and now has a chance to join an elite group of Galaxy players to have scored in four straight MLS road matches: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (2018-19), Robbie Keane (2012-13) and Landon Donovan (2009).
Sporting Kansas CIty is 16-3-8 all-time in regular season home openers, including a 5-1-6 record at Children's Mercy Park, but will be without four players on Saturday due to injury. Kortne Ford (Achilles), Logan Ndenbe (hamstring), Gadi Kinda (knee) and Johnny Russell (hamstring) will all miss Saturday's match, while Designated Player Alan Pulido (knee) remains questionable on the club's player availability report.